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The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Let Bluetooth headsets die out

By Brian Trick

As it turns out, the financial crisis isn’t all bad. As businesses struggle to survive, with many failing, we should cross our fingers that the manufacturers of wireless headsets are among the failures.

Aliph, a technology company based out of San Francisco, is in trouble. The market for Bluetooth wireless headsets is waning, causing Aliph to lay off approximately 30 percent of its workforce, according to a report by cnet.com. Aliph’s parent company, Sequoia Capital, encouraged its companies to exercise financial responsibility and “buckle down” in the midst of the unfavorable economic climate.

This is great news. No longer do we have to walk the streets in fear of being attacked by a cyborg. Yes, a cyborg. With a little blinking stick of a gun-shaped device jutting from one’s head, you can easily be confused for an Isaac Asimov character. We’ve all had the experience of having to put up with that really annoying person on the bus or train talking on his or her cell phone. There seems to be little justification for a headset outside of a car, although even in a car headsets are dangerous.

It’s understandable that for some a headset is practical. In some states, for example, a headset is required to talk and drive. But besides being a very misinformed fashion statement, using a headset while driving is still as dangerous as not using one while talking on a cell phone.

In 2006, U psychologists conducted an experiment comparing talking on a cell phone while driving to being intoxicated. The results confirmed that cell phone use while driving renders the driver’s reaction time similar to that of someone with a blood alcohol content of .08 and concluded that “motorists who talk on handheld or hands-free cellular phones are as impaired as drunken drivers.”

In Utah, headsets are pointless. Utah’s cell phone law ranks as a secondary offense, according to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association. The only way to receive a cell phone violation is to simultaneously commit another offense like speeding.

For our own good, we need to let the Bluetooth headset die out. There will still be some that will want them, and that’s fine, as there are still those today who play Atari. Look what happened with Crocs. We failed to immediately see their uselessness and now they’re everywhere.

[email protected]

Brian Trick

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